Monday, 20 July 2009

All Gone!


Last night was the first night for quite a long time when the sky was clear - well, there were dark clouds around the horizon but even at half past ten there was still a clear pale aquamarine sky with gold edges - very beautiful. That meant that in the night there was a beautiful starry sky. Because we are far from street lighting, when the sky is clear we get a magnificent display of stars. I stood in the bedroom window watching, and thinking. And I wondered what night creatures would be about.

The hedgehogs would be around for sure - we had seen them when we took Tess out for her last walk - snuffling about, chomping snails, busy about their own business and clearing up for us, as we had been gardening. If we find a snail (on the hostas!) we crush its shell and leave it on the path and the next morning it is gone.

No doubt the foxes would be about too. We rarely see one but the dogs know when they have been round the fields and sometimes we can pick up their rank smell too. We might find the remains of a rabbit (their favourite food round here) but only rarely - they clean up well after themselves and often take the whole rabbit back to the earth to feed cubs.

And the owls. Sometimes at dusk in the winter we see the ghostly shape of an owl glide past our kitchen window and land in the Scots Pine trees. But even if we rarely see them, we hear them most nights as they sit in the trees and talk to each other. They leave no trace of their food unless you look for their pellets (usually under where they nest or perch) in which case you can pull the pellet apart to see what little bones lie within.

You may wonder what today's photograph has to do with any of this. Well, it is a bit of a convoluted route that my brain took (no sat nav up there!) but this is how my reasoning went.

All these creatures clean up well after themselves - even in the daytime road kill is swiftly cleared up by the crows so that no trace remains.

The other day Heather (Ragged Old Blogger) posted her textile experiment using an idea from Maggie Grey's book. I have that book too and tried out some of the ideas a while ago. The elephant is one of them. I tried it out because I had a huge pile of little offcuts of material I had been using. Bits and pieces were lying about and it seemed a shame to throw them away. So, I behaved a little bit like the crow (come on, now, use your imagination here) and tidied up all the bits left lying around. They were mostly offcuts from sari material (thank you Bombay Stores) in bright colours - fine, gauzy materials but all in tiny snippets.

Using bondaweb ironed on to a piece of calico, I laid the bits out, covered them with a bit of almost transparent material, and sewed all over them with gold thread. I admit to being completely carried away. Once I had started I used more and more bits, flinging them on with gay abandon and machining until they were well fastened down. And I ended up with a new piece of "material" - all my own work! And the snippets were all gone (hence the title).

I made several book covers like this and with the bit left over I cut out this elephant - not for any reason except I had had his shape for a long time (thank you Brenda) and liked it.

He sits now in my study and I find him very cheering with his fantastic colours. Try it sometime.

17 comments:

steven said...

hellow weaver, it's interesting to see this work because yesterday i was wondering how your artwork was coming along and sure enough, here's what you've been doing. the materials are beautiful - sari material is so exquisite - i love the gold thread, gold thread on almost anything is alright by me! gathering bits and pieces together to create something more beautiful than the parts is magic!!! thanks for the lovely rich post. have a peaceful day. steven

Bonnie, Original Heart Studio said...

Using what is to make something beautiful. Now that's a plan!
I will leave here inspired to find a way to do just that today. Thank you Weaver of Grass.

Titus said...

I love it!

Gramma Ann said...

How creative you are Weaver! Love the elephant, but I would love to see the book covers. Being an avid reader I think they would be interesting to see. Maybe another day?

Elizabeth said...

This is one cool elephant!

Pondside said...

You couldn't help but smile at that colourful fellow!

Leenie said...

Hello! It was so fun to read about your night creatures. I love the sound of owl talk. And it would be amazing for me to see a hedgehog in the wild. Summer stars are wonderful, but I really have to stay up past bedtime to see them. The elephant is a great way to use scraps. It turned out superb. What size is it?

jinksy said...

He's an Elmer Elephant! (Hope you know the kid's book to which I'm referring? If not, you've missed a treat ;)) I love Elmer - one of his tribe is even now before me as I type...

MarmaladeRose said...

I will, I will, I will. Promise. I have the calico and the bondaweb and the scraps...just need that elusive thing called time!
We enjoyed the 1940s weekend. I so want to dress up next year and be part of it. It was good to hear from some of the people who had actually experienced the war, it made it seem more real and closer for us youngies.

Crafty Green Poet said...

what a lovely elephant, all made from scraps too, great idea!

Penny said...

Great elephant, glad to see you were using up bits isnt it fun.
The plant on my blog is something called or was called chasmanthe, I have crocosma and that flowers in summer here it is winter.

Reader Wil said...

Thank you for the evening tour and telling about all the animals that live in your surroundings. Owls, foxes ans snails!! We always have snails on the hostas too, but this year I put slug pellets around the hostas as soon as they started to grow. The result was that I had no slugs on them. Yet I saw one somewhere else in the garden yesterday.
Your elephant is great and very colourful. Thanks for showing.

Heather said...

Your elephant is gorgeous and very handsome. What a lovely way to use up little offcuts. I love the link between him (or her) and your words. I remember hearing a barn owl fly over my head at dusk when I was about 9 years old - there was just a whisper of sound.

Robin Mac said...

Love the elephant, but like Gramma Ann, I would love to see the book covers too. I also have that book and am planning on using up lots of my scraps as well. Wonderful description of all the night creatures. Cheers,
Robin

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for the comments - unfortunately I have the book covers away as presents - I only make book covers when I want a present I am afraid. But glad you like the elephant!

Kayla coo said...

Your elephant looks great with all the different fabrics.
I love using scraps because it's satisfying turning them into a beautiful work of art and not putting them in the bin.x

BT said...

Now where were we, elephants in the sky?? What a wonderful idea to bondaweb all the little bits together to make a new material. I must try it. I suppose that's what I do with my rag rugs, use up old bits and pieces and make something new. We, too, have some wonderful clear skies with no light pollution. Sometimes they night sky is just amazing. Lovely post.